In Depth: The future of Apple: will it be doom or boom?

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The future of Apple: Doom

Honestly, you ‘d believe Apple was back in the bad days of the very early 90s. Analysts left, right and center are anticipating that the business will fall into destroy if it doesn’t launch its own version of whatever the most recent fascination is.

‘Well-informed’ viewers enjoy telling us that Apple can not make the very same cutting-edge products under Tim Cook that it did under Steve Jobs, or that having lower sales figures than less expensive alternatives indicates imminent collapse. It’s just a matter of time, apparently, yet the refrain that ‘Apple is doomed’ is almost as old as Apple itself.

Why are there articles packed with this example? Some do it due to the fact that they don’t such as Apple’s viewpoints, some for the attention and some because they believe it, no matter the number of times it doesn’t come true. Join us, then, in an act of wanton self-flagellation as we pick our method into the steaming stack of bullet-points, half-formed ideas and fundamental misunderstandings to take a look at simply now very much not doomed Apple is …

Baffling with percentages

It’s simple to follow portion figures– they are so good and clean. As an example, figures from market intelligence company IDC say that the iPad’s share of the tablet market was down from 38.2 % in Q3 2012 to 33.8 % in Q3 2013. What a clear statement. It’s absolutely bad for Apple, right?


Indeed, Business Insider’s Steve Kovach wrote in his short article ‘Apple will blow it in tablets too’ (having already ‘blown it’ in smartphones, obviously) that ‘Samsung is poised to squash Apple in tablets utilizing the exact same method it did to win in smartphones.’ The method in concern is ‘to essentially flood the market with as lots of different sorts of tablet as it can’, and Kovach thinks that the IDC figures show that it’s working.

But here’s the thing about those IDC iPad portions: they indicate almost absolutely nothing. All the business included have actually begun making more tablets and sending those to stores, which’s what those figures are based upon (not currently offered tablets– so they do not represent the total tablet ownership).

Also, they don’t even tell you the number of of those tablets were actually offered to clients, rather than just languishing on shop shelves. But when of all the other companies combined manufacture more tablets than Apple does, it makes Apple’s figures decrease, no matter how well Apple is doing, or how severely the others might be offering. Certainly, it’s thought most non-Apple tablets are offered in the extremely, really inexpensive category (believe ₤ 200 or less) as, basically, portable video players, rather than lightweight computers like the iPad.

Let us consider, for a minute, another figure for market share: online usage. Internet analytics firm StatCounter announced that 74.5 % of worldwide online tablet use that it tracked was from iPads. So the figures for real use are rather various to those of exactly what may or not have actually been offered in one quarter, interestingly enough.

Blown it

It’s the exact same story with the understanding that Apple has actually ‘blown it’ with phones– Samsung has undoubtedly sold even more phones recently, however sales of iPhones are still growing, just like iPads. Let us take a look at some usage stats once again, this time from marketing business Smart Insights. It states that 59.6 % of smartphone internet traffic originates from iPhones, with 39 % from Android. A different story, and neither it nor the iPad figures above take apps into account, where mobile and tablet users invest a big quantity of their usage time, and Apple is widely out in front on.


Really, neither the usage stats nor the sales figures mention to the entire story– between phones being passed on as hand-me-downs, inexpensive phones and tablets being sold however barely made use of and basic confusion in the numbers, the conclusions you can draw are restricted. Which is definitely great– it simply indicates that you can not actually suggest that Apple is struggling from them.

‘After a decade of development, the business’s well has actually run dry,’ stated Howard Gold of the Wall Street Journal after Apple’s last profits call. It’s a common problem, and one that’s commonly countered by pointing out that Apple’s most significant developments have actually come several years apart– it’s not fair to require a game-changer every year.

This is, obviously, true, though it’s neglecting just how fertile the mid-2000s were for Apple: there was a significant brand-new product classification or essential shift coming every year, from the Mac mini in 2005 though the Intel switch, the iPhone, the Apple TV and finally the MacBook Air in 2008.

Then came the iPad and Retina displays two years later in 2010. Ever since, you might say the iPad mini and Mac Pro are big additions, however largely, Apple has actually released products that iterate on what’s already there. The question is whether even more new product categories are what’s had to sustain the business, or whether it can keep growing by improving what’s there.

No innovation

Sometimes you feel that there’s an air of aggravation or impatience behind claims that Apple does not innovate any even more. Products such as the iPhone and MacBook Air were so amazing when they were presented– they were hardly believable! People wish to see that once more, and when that comes dressed up as analysis is where things go awry. Does expert Journey Chowdhry from Global Equities Research seriously think that Apple ‘They just have 60 days delegated come up with [an iWatch] or they’ll vanish’, as he mentioned to CNBC? ‘It’ll become a zombie, if they don’t develop an iWatch.’


Those 60 days ran out 19 May and Apple is still doing very well at the minute. Regardless, it really feels like what Chowdhry and others desire is for Apple to turn existing concepts (like the watch or TELEVISION) into products with iPhone levels of impact. Rene Ritchie of iMore laments that this won’t happen: ‘There is not really a company as big as the iPhone, not for Apple, not for any individual, and there won’t be once more.’

The future of Apple: Boom

Huge opportunity

Hopefully, that is not true– possibly a big opportunity lies outside the computing market (just like the way Nintendo has actually revealed it’ll certainly move into health products to broaden its business, for example)– however even if it is, it’s no harbinger of Apple’s doom, because every year, Apple drastically improves its current items. There’s development to be discovered in battery life, convenience and functionality, and neglecting that’s what Apple’s competitors get wrong. And it’s why the company does not just throw away any old watch or TELEVISION idea and call it an end products– look at the scathing testimonials of Samsung’s Gear Fit.

You simply need to look at its acquisition of Beats to see that a few of its focus is already moving away from rectangular products.


‘I believe for Apple, the pressure is to get it right,’ Carolina Milanesi, of customer understanding firm Kantar WorldPanel, told CNBC. ‘It’s not so much getting in swiftly, it’s acting properly … It’s not in Apple’s design to rush things, specifically when it’s part of the bigger photo.’ Maybe that’s the genuine development, in a market that’s delighted to toss any old item at the wall.

The Steve situation

Articles that berate Apple for its failure to innovate any more typically attribute the ‘issue’ to a typical cause: co-founder Steve Jobs is no longer leading the company. ‘If Jobs was the star, Cook was the stage manager,’ wrote Yukari Iwatani Kane, author of Haunted Empire, Apple After Steve Jobs. ‘If Jobs was radical, Cook was useful. But without Jobs, Cook had no counterweight to his dogged pragmatism. Who’d provide the creative sparks?’

Kane’s thoughts right here are the most up to date in a line of accusations that Jobs was accountable for everything good that came out of Apple. ‘I do not think it’s a coincidence that the iPhone 5, the very first iPhone to be established after Steve Jobs’s passing, seems to don’t have a comparable sales pitch [to Siri or a Retina display],’ wrote Timothy B Lee for Forbes in 2012, a statement that naïvely suggests that Apple prepares no more than a year ahead in its iPhone developments.

‘The more duty Cook handled in the nuts-and-bolts parts of Apple, the even more Jobs was freed up for his creative undertakings. Released from customer service and retail management, Jobs spent the last years of his life dreaming up the iPod, iPhone and iPad,’ wrote Adam Lashinsky, author of Inside Apple.

But we understand that Steve Jobs was only part of the creation of these gadgets: popular Apple names such as Tony Fadell, Scott Forstall and obviously Jony Ive– never ever mind hundreds more– played vital roles in making them exactly what they are. Though Jobs no doubt offered a big quantity of direction to the iPhone, raising his duty to that of ‘developer’ is a pernicious termination of the fantastic work of others.


Kane asks who’ll certainly supply the creative stimulates for Apple now, but it seems to be Jony Ive who fits that role, taking obligation for both software and hardware design now. Like Jobs, it appears that Ive’s position is far from the actual running of the company: Craig Federighi handles software application engineering, Eddy Hint handles services, Dan Riccio makes the hardware creates work, and Jeff Williams and Tim Cook make all the pieces come together. You can’t replace Jobs’ stimulate, however Apple has actually done the closest thing by making sure his most trusted creative partner has occupied his torch.

Jobs thought about Apple his greatest production, and as long as it continues to hold dear the viewpoints that made it excellent, it’ll prosper.